News Corporation has acquired a 14.58% stake in Premiere AG, the German pay-TV operator, for €287 million in cash. This comes only one month after James Murdoch became chief executive of News Corporation Europe and Asia. With over 10 million viewers and more than four million subscribers, Premiere AG is the leading pay-TV operator in Germany and Austria.
"Pay-TV is a core business for News Corporation and it's a category that's thriving across Europe with a multitude of new services and innovations," said Rupert Murdoch (pictured), News Corporation's chairman and chief executive and father of James. "We see enormous potential for growth in Germany and believe the time is right to invest in its foremost pay-TV business, Premiere."
News Corporation's European pay-TV holdings include a 39% stake in BSkyB, the number one pay-television group in the UK, which has more than 8.7 million subscribers, and its wholly-owned subsidiary Sky Italia, Italy's leading pay-television provider with over four million subscribers.